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Comment (Score 4, Informative) 368

They weren't afraid of damaging the drones, they were afraid of the drones crashing the planes dropping the water. The air dropping planes end up flying rather low to avoid dispersing the water too far since the heat in the fire is enough to otherwise boil it off before it hits the ground, making it roughly useless in that case. Since the drones are flying high enough that they could hit the planes or end up in the jets there's a real risk of a crash which isn't going to help anybody at all.

Submission Linode hacked, CCs and passwords leaked 6

An anonymous reader writes: On Friday Linode announced a precautionary password reset due to an attack despite claiming that they were not compromised. The attacker has claimed otherwise, claiming to have obtained card numbers and password hashes. Password hashes, source code fragments and directory listings have been released as proof. Linode has yet to comment on or deny these claims.

Intercontinental Mind-Meld Unites Two Rats 176

ananyo writes "The brains of two rats on different continents have been made to act in tandem. When the first, in Brazil, uses its whiskers to choose between two stimuli, an implant records its brain activity and signals to a similar device in the brain of a rat in the United States. The U.S. rat then usually makes the same choice on the same task. Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says that this system allows one rat to use the senses of another, incorporating information from its far-away partner into its own representation of the world. 'It's not telepathy. It's not the Borg,' he says. 'But we created a new central nervous system made of two brains.' Nicolelis says that the work, published today, is the first step towards constructing an organic computer that uses networks of linked animal brains to solve tasks. But other scientists who work on neural implants are skeptical."
The Military

Researcher Warns That Military Must Prepare For "Mutant" Future 179

Researcher Patrick Lin says that with the development of a wide range of technologies including: drugs, special nutrition, gene therapy and robotic implants, the military needs to plan for a future where soldiers have "mutant powers.” From the article: "If we don’t, we could find ourselves in big trouble down the road. Among the nightmare scenarios: Botched enhancements could harm the very soldiers they’re meant to help and spawn pricey lawsuits. Tweaked troopers could run afoul of international law, potentially sparking a diplomatic crisis every time the U.S. deploys troops overseas. And poorly planned enhancements could provoke disproportionate responses by America’s enemies, resulting in a potentially devastating arms race (PDF)."

Comment Re:user space drivers (Score 1) 102

It's usually because it requires the actual talking to the hardware to require a context change from userspace to kernel space on x86 based systems (I suspect the other major archs have similar issues but don't know for certain). This is because userspace is normally protected from touching hardware so that it can't cause side effects to other processes without the kernel knowing about it. A good microkernel should be able to give that access directly to userspace but I don't believe most CPUs play nicely with that idea currently, though if they did it could greatly reduce any performance hits to where it's negligable for most loads.

Comment Re:...Why? (Score 1) 328

The US also has the ability to disable GPS for certain areas and has in the past degraded the quality of data for national security reasons ( ). Though this has been changing (new satelites don't have it, though really it's just a software update), it puts pressure on other places to put up their own systems that are either compatible or at least non-interferring so that should the US ever do anything like that again, they cannot be impacted by it. It's a bit like MAD but instead of destruction, nobody can ever get degraded service (assuming enough players). This also raises the question of who should pay for it all, since with three systems now going that all work, it could let each place share only a part of the costs (eventually).

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev